Abuja - President Muhammadu Buhari is intensifying efforts to persuade former President Goodluck Jonathan to mediate between the federal government and militant groups in the Niger Delta, reports NewsDay.
Buhari believes that the warring militants will listen to Jonathan, the immediate past President and a respected son of the region.
Earlier attempts by Buhari to nominate some of his ministers from the region, especially, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, was rejected by the militants.
During the closed door meeting held between Buhari and Jonathan last week Friday, the President pleaded with Jonathan to speak to elders in the region to calm the Niger Delta Avengers, as well as reach out to the militants that the FG is willing to listen to their demands.
Also read: Buhari meets Obasanjo, Jonathan over Niger Delta crisis
Jonathan had reportedly demanded that the military should be withdrawn tactically from the troubled Niger Delta zone to assure the militants of government’s readiness to talk.
Jonathan gave credence to this, during his interview with Bloomberg Television in London on Monday when he expressed confidence that the authorities could reach an agreement with militants to stop their attacks that had slashed production of Africa’s biggest oil producer.
Few hours after the Jonathan's interview with Bloomberg, Buhari ordered the military to suspend operations in the Niger Delta for two weeks to create a window for dialogue with militants.
Buhari according to Vanguard has constituted a team that will be led by the National Security Adviser (NSA), to dialogues with the militants to ensure peace in the region.
Jonathan was vice-president when Nigeria’s government offered an amnesty and monthly stipends to militants to end years of instability
- News 24